Amnesty members vote down restructure plans

Proposals to reorganise Amnesty International UK, which could lead to up to 40 job losses, have been stalled after a vote among AIUK members

Amnesty International UK
Amnesty International UK

Unite union members at Amnesty International UK are claiming a moral victory after AIUK members voted down proposals to restructure the organisation, which could have resulted in up to 40 job losses.

At an extraordinary general meeting over the weekend, more than 75 per cent of the 500 AIUK members who attended voted against "any material reorganisation" of AIUK, a statement from Unite said.

The motion required support from at least 75 per cent of those present to be passed.

Unite said the vote effectively put an end to management plans to impose up to 40 job cuts on the 200-strong AIUK workforce, but AIUK indicated the proposals could still go ahead.

The union said the resolution meant management could not go ahead with its plans without consulting the organisation’s annual general meeting in April, where a 51 per cent majority is required to pass or block resolutions.

Alan Scott, Unite’s regional officer, said: "This is a moral victory for all who opposed the management’s position, and we think the board should be considering their position in view of the strength of feeling of the Amnesty membership."

But other resolutions that might have prevented any redundancies outright did not receive enough support to be passed.

AIUK emphasised that the management board would meet shortly and hinted that people at the AGM in April might not get the opportunity to vote further on restructure plans.

"The board will meet on 2 February to discuss the contradictory resolutions passed at the EGM and to decide whether this will be discussed again at the AGM," an AIUK spokesman said.

The dispute between staff and AIUK’s management centres on plans by the organisation to increase its financial contribution to AI’s global headquarters, which would necessitate redundancies to pay for it.

It has already resulted in strike action by Unite members at AIUK.

Staff at Amnesty International’s secretariat, which is also based in London, went out on strike last year in a separate dispute over changes to its redundancy policy.

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